Backwards By Design in the Exemplary Middle School

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1. Principles of Backwards Design by Richard Binkney, Ph.D. 2. Interdisciplinary Unit Sample Lesson Plan Form “Begin with the end in mind.” by Richard Binkney, Ph.D.…
  • 1. Principles of Backwards Design by Richard Binkney, Ph.D.
  • 2. Interdisciplinary Unit Sample Lesson Plan Form “Begin with the end in mind.” by Richard Binkney, Ph.D. Preface to Unit Lesson Plan Form ―To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.‖ --Stephen Covey, 1996. Principles of Backward Design The backward design process of Wiggins & McTighe begins with the end in mind. One starts with the end - the desired results (goals or standards) - and then derives the curriculum from the evidence of learning (performances) called for by the standard and the teaching needed to equip students to perform' (Wiggins and McTighe, 2000, page 8) The design process involves teachers planning in 3 stages of backward design, each with a focusing question: Stage 1 - What is worthy and requiring of understanding? This is where you identify what is valuable/worthy and requiring of understanding. Stage 2 - What is evidence of understanding? This is what evidence determines students’ understanding. Stage 3 - What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest and excellence? This is what you do to plan learning experiences and instruction for the students. The simple explanation of backwards design includes: What do I want my students to know and be able to do? How will I know if my student sknow it and/or can do it? What will need to be done to help my students learn the required knowledge? What will I do when I have a student who doesn’t know it or can’t do it? What are the advantages of using backwards design? It provides clear expectations for students It provides focused targets of performance It provides focus on the evidence of learning It makes student achievement relative to the standard/s 2
  • 3. Interdisciplinary Unit Lesson Plan (This is Your Model) I. Introduction & Unit Overview A. Name of Student________________________ Date & Semester ______________ B. Title of Unit/Lesson/Activity and Grade level addressed C. Subject/2 Interdisciplinary Content Areas D. Topic/Skill E. Abstract/Summary (brief overview of curricular concepts and unit goals) F. Unit Design Status (first draft, revised draft, final copy, or adjusted after use) II. Identify Desired Results (Stage One—Understanding by Design) A. Align lesson with QCC, GPS, and national standards, if applicable – should reflect grade level/content area/s. (You can type the standards into this text section or you can choose to create a new standards section on the page and import the standards you want from the LiveText standards database.) B. Enduring Understandings – Learning Goals or Deep Learning --Visual Graph – Establishing Curricular Priorities Worth being familiar with: What do we want students to read, view, research, and otherwise encounter? Important to know and do: Mastery required at this level. Important knowledge (facts, concepts, and principles) and skills (processes, strategies, and methods. Enduring understanding: What we want students “to get inside of.” There are 4 criteria, or filters, to use in selecting ideas and processes to teach for understanding (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998) 1. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process represent a ―big idea‖ having enduring value beyond the classroom? 2. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process reside at the heart of the discipline? 3. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process require uncoverage? 3
  • 4. 4. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process offer potential for engaging students? Using the principles of backward design, teachers focus first on the learning goals (understanding goals). These are the enduring understandings that they want their students to have developed at the completion of the learning sequence. There is also a focus on a number of essential, or guiding, questions. Enduring understandings go beyond facts and skills to focus on larger concepts, principles or processes. Enduring understandings are based on the higher order thinking skills (Bloom). According to Wiggins and McTighe (1998), they involve the big ideas that give meaning and importance to facts. It is the enduring understandings or deep learning that allow students to transfer knowledge from one topic to another, from one class to another, from school to life. Identifying the enduring understandings or deep learning allow us to provide the conceptual foundation for the basic skills we must teach. They are general rather than specific. For example, if you teach money as part of a math unit, your enduring understanding might be that value is a function of supply and demand or that cost is based on how much demand there is for a product in relationship to how much of the product is available. This is what you will want your students to really ―get‖ and keep throughout their lives. You will then teach the appropriate money/math skills for your grade level standards in relation to this enduring understanding. Enduring understandings or deep learning are not obvious to the students, at first. We must guide them to ―uncover‖ or discover these enduring understandings through well-designed learning experiences. Enduring understandings are framed/written in the English language – “Students will understand that….” Notice that enduring understandings are not understanding why, how, which, or how to. These infer the focus of the topic not what should be understood as a result of the learning experience/s you provided the students. This is done by asking essential questions and helping your students learn to ask other appropriate essential questions. Because there is typically more content than can reasonably be addressed within the available instructional time, teachers must make choices. You must move in the thinking process from considering what is “worth being familiar with” to what is “important to know and do,” then to the “enduring understanding/s.” Enduring understanding/s focus on intellectual priorities, anchor the unit, and establish a rationale for it. The term “enduring” refers to the big ideas, or the important understanding, that we want students to ―get inside of‖ and retain after they’ve forgotten many of the details. Most often, enduring understandings are Big ideas Universal Timeless Never changing Abstract Broad by nature 4
  • 5. Thus, enduring understandings provide a larger purpose for learning the targeted content: They implicitly answer the question, Why is this topic worth studying? Consider to what extent a topic is an enduring and transferable big idea, having value beyond the classroom? Enduring understandings often are called core processes at the heart of the discipline; they can be abstract and often are misunderstood. Enduring Understandings are what students will understand as a result of successfully completing the unit of study. Enduring understandings are also known as learning goals. Enduring Understandings are the concepts students understand 5, 10, 15, 20, or more years after the concepts are learned. They are the “big picture” concepts that students will never forget and will always understand. Enduring Understandings are necessary, because content and methods change, but the foundations of the subject will always remain the same. Teaching which focuses on understandings will waste little of students’ time. Students will not be forced to memorize and recall information that they will simply forget one to two weeks after it was learned. Example: Knowledge that is worth being familiar with: *General eating patterns and menus from the past. *Different conditions requiring dietary restrictions (high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ulcers). Knowledge and skills that are important to know and do: *Types of food in each of the food groups and their nutritional values. *The USDA food pyramid guidelines. *Interpret nutritional information on food labels. Understandings that are enduring: *A balanced diet contributes to physical and mental health. *Dietary requirements differ for individuals, depending on variables such as age, activity level, weight, and overall health. Example: Knowledge that is worth being familiar with: *The history of standardized testing in the USA; how standardized testing has evolved over the years. *Different purposes and uses of standardized tests. Knowledge and skills that are important to know and do: *The concepts of validity and reliability. *Distinctions between norm- and criterion-referenced evaluation. Understandings that are enduring: *How to evaluate classroom assessments to determine if they are valid and reliable. *How to develop valid and reliable assessments for……specific tests…… Other examples of enduring understandings include: 5
  • 6. Are ‘all men are created equal’? What does it mean to live a healthy life? What does it mean to be independent? Wildlife has intrinsic value Human activity impacts acquatic life Mathematics is the study of patterns and relationships Conflict and change are part of the human experience Enduring Understandings: Bad to Best Bad – Students will understand rocks. Better – Students will know how to classify rocks. Best -- Students will understand that rocks are classified according to properties that you can observe and/or test. Bad – Students will understand weather. (it does not tell us what they should understand about weather) Better – Students will understand weather instruments. (It narrows the focus, but it still does not state what insights we want students to leave with.) Best – Students will understand that weather instruments give us data to use in forecasting the weather. (This summarizes intended insight, helps students and teachers realize what types of learning activities are needed to support the understanding.) C. Essential Question/s (What questions will students be able to answer after instruction?) An Enduring Understanding is a big idea that resides at the heart of a discipline and has lasting value outside the classroom. An Essential Question is a question that can be answered when the enduring understanding is achieved. ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS Are big, open-ended or topic-related Examine how (process) and why (cause and effect) Consider various levels in Bloom’s Taxonomy Use language appropriate to students Sequence so they lead naturally from one to another Can be used as organizers for the unit, making the ―content‖ answer the questions 6
  • 7. Can be shared with other teachers D. Key Knowledge and Key Skills (Processes, e.g., researching, organizing…include process skills but be specific.) (Skills – Correlate with Bloom’s Taxonomy and/or Facets of Understanding) *The students will know that…. *The students will do…. *The students will be able to ….do…demonstrate as a result of this lesson. (use of learn and understand are too general – use words like compare, contrast, measure, etc.) E. Unit Content Map -- A 10-Day Interdisciplinary Thematic Chart weaving 2 content areas together graphically – with technology samples (3), cultural diversity samples (3), differentiated instruction (for 1 class). III. Determine Acceptable Evidence (stage two – Understanding by Design) A. Evidences of Learning (formative and summative—such as observations, work samples, summarizers, quiz, test) – What performances will be expected from students in order to effectively answer the Essential Questions? What criteria will be applied to the performance task/s? Determine the acceptable evidence to answer these questions. B. Student self assessment and reflection C. Performance Task – GRASPS -- grasp your students’ attention –when using GRASP- related activities, students are more engaged in a lesson. GRASPS are also known as Performanced Based Learning GOAL – provide a statement of the task. Establish the goal, problem, challenge, or obstacle in the task. 7
  • 8. ROLE – define the role of the students in the task. State the job of the students for the task. AUDIENCE – identify the target audience within the context of the scenario. Example audiences might include a client or committee. SITUATION – set the context of the scenario. Explain the situation. PRODUCT – clarify what the students will create and why they will create it. STANDARDS & CRITERIA (INDICATORS) –Develop a RUBRIC for assessing the task/s assigned --provide students with a clear picture of success. Identify specific standards for success. Issue rubrics to the students or develop them with the students. GRASPS IDEAS and vocabulary words G -- design, teach, explain, inform, create, persuade, defend, critique, improve R -- advertiser, illustrator, coach, candidate, chef, engineer, eyewitness, newscaster, editor, news show host, politician A – board members, neighbors, pen pals, travel agent, jury, celebrity, historical figure, community, school board, government S – the context of the situation – create a real life scenario P – advertisement, game, script. Debate, rap, banner, cartoon, scrapbook, proposal, brochure, slide show, puppet show S – what success looks like: Scoring guide, rubric, and examples IV. Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction (Stage 3 – Understanding by Design) A. Instructional Sequence Chart Show scope and sequence of key unit understandings and/or essential questions for your two declared content areas over 10 instructional days. Includes opportunities for students to acquire new knowledge, perform higher level thinking and content authentically through performance or product. B. Consider the WHERETO elements Key learning events needed to achieve unit goals -- 8
  • 9. Learning activities -- What learning experiences and instruction will enable students to achieve the desired results? How will the design: W – Help the student know Where are we going? WHY? What is expected? Help the teachers know Where the students are coming from (prior knowledge or interests) H – How will we HOOK and HOLD all of the students interest? (Check for prior knowledge – how will you determine prior knowledge? Make connections between prior knowledge and experience with what is presented. Find out what students’ ideas are on this topic. Review what was learned in prior lessons -- How will you get the students’ attention, focus them on the essential question/s, and motivate them to learn? What will you say to student to explain the purpose of the lesson? Of what value will this lesson be for them personally? E -- How will we EQUIP students; help them to EXPLORE the issues, and EXPERIENCE the key ideas (demonstrate how communication/involvement with parents & community and how technology will be built into the unit) R -- How will we provide opportunities for students to RETHINK, REHEARSE, REVISE, and REFINE their understanding and work? E -- How will students self-EVALUATE and REFLECT on their learning, their work, and its implications? T – How will we TAILOR learning to varied or different needs, interests, and styles of diverse learners? (differentiated instruction – shows ways that needs of all learners will be tailored by modifying content, process or product. Shows integration of multiple intelligences.) O – Be Organized to maximize initial and sustained engagement as well as effective learning. How will we ORGANIZE and sequence the learning? Managing the Learning Environment – shows behavior management/modification. Shows how issues such as distribution of materials, group work, room arrangement, time management, and transitions will be handled in the unit. 9
  • 10. C. Lesson Plan Format – 10 Daily Instructional Plans – for 2 middle grades content areas Day 1 – (1 full lesson plan for first day of instruction for each of the 10 days in 2 contents) a. Title/Grade Level/Subject/Topic b. Standards Correlation: QCC/GPS and National Standards where applicable c. Essential Question/s d. Key Knowledge – the students will know that…. e. Key Skills – the students will be able to…. f. Materials and Resources Plan your learning experiences & instruction-- What do you need to get ready for this lesson? *Materials (make a vertical list –organization – include quantities and purchases needed) *Resources (charts, video, books, software, articles, tapes, overhead, handouts, models, etc., to accent instruction) research websites g. Introduction – activating hook/check for prior knowledge – Pre-test h. Step-by-Step Procedures Teaching strategies to organize the lesson and deliver instruction Tailor/differentiate instruction/learning styles and multiple intelligences Guided practice On-going evaluating/checking for understanding and student reflection -- Post-test *Describe with clear directions teaching strategies to organize the lesson and deliver instruction. What information will be communicated to the students and how, e.g., direct instruction, modeling, inquiry, laboratory experience, etc? *Tailor-differentiate instruction/learning styles and multiple intelligences. What special needs modifications will you make, e.g., special education, ESL, cultural diversity? How will students’ personal learning styles be addressed, e.g., Gardner’s multiple intelligences? *Guided practice How will students be actively engaged in processing knowledge, e.g., collaborative groups, individual learning, journals, worksheets, etc.? *On-going evaluating/checking for understanding and student reflection 10
  • 11. How will you assess students’ content and skills learning, e.g., journal writing, group assessment, self-assessment? How will you check for understanding, e.g., formative, summative? *Consider how can the student apply what was learned today in his/her experience? How can the value of this lesson be made relevant in their lives? How can interest be extended? What is a good follow-up activity to reinforce the concepts learned today? Provide relevant homework, class work, parent-involvement activity, research assignment for student enrichment. i. Closure/summarizing/linking (Conclude, share results, discuss, ask and answer questions, evaluate lesson, assess student learning?) *How will you evaluate this lesson? *How will assess student learning? *How will you actively involve students at the end of the lesson or class to reflect on and reinforce the main learning for this lesson? *Can students’ answer the essential question/s and ―ticket-out-of-the door?‖ *How will students apply and extend the learning? *What will students see/experience/learn in the next lesson? j. Teacher Reflection (related specifically to that instructional day) Personal reflection: What do you think you accomplished, if anything? What went right? What went wrong? What would you do differently next time? Were there any surprises – any unexpected results – any lessons learned? This is the place for you to give a personal reflection, review, or analysis of this day’s events and happenings. In particular, address what you did that worked as you expected – what you might change for the next time, so that the lesson will go/be better. (Personal reflection at the end of each instructional day.) repeat lessons for-- Day 2 – (1 full lesson plan for the 2nd day of the 10 days) – 2 content areas Day 3 – (1 full lesson plan for the 3rd day of the 10 days) ) – 2 content areas Day 4 – (1 full lesson plan for the 4th day of the 10 days) ) – 2 content areas Day 5 – (1 full lesson plan for the 5th day of the 10 days) ) – 2 content areas Day 6 – (1 full lesson plan for the 6th day of the 10 days) ) – 2 content areas Day 7 – (1 full lesson plan for the 7th day of the 10 days) ) – 2 content areas Day 8 – (1 full lesson plan for the 8th day of the 10 days) ) – 2 content areas Day 9 – (1 full lesson plan for the 9th day of the 10 days) ) – 2 content areas Day 10 – (1 full lesson plan for the 10th day of the 10 d
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